order of business was the appointments of the new Directors to NCRA committees.
Alex Stillman and I were appointed to the Finance Committee. Alex was also
appointed to the Properties Committee.
Next up was
a Resolution supporting CalTrout Fisheries Restoration of Bridge Creek, which
is about 12 miles south of Scotia. The
removal of rails was not a big issue since that part of the line had “Blown Out.”
Restoration preemption was also a big issue. North Western Pacific company
(NWPco) operator John Williams said he was in favor of an excursion train with
this rail line. After much discussion and amendments to resolution the item
passed unanimously 9-0.
second Resolution concerned Restoration of Woodman Creek near Laytonville. The 200ft of rail that was proposed to be removed
is classified as “active railroad.” NCRA project engineer Dave Anderson pointed
out that obstacles were in the 29 miles between Willits and Woodman Creek that
needed to be addressed, namely:
is well isolated and far into the future. In both restoration cases it was
pointed out that this would help mitigate the issues for the future use of the
rail, so why not address this now? Operator John Williams said that “money is
the root of this issue!” He said he would support the project if it was well
defined. He also pointed out that the 1 million dollar estimate for the
replacement bridge would likely be 7-10 million and that the project would
affect 2,000ft and not 200ft. The resolution with amendment’s passed
of business for the day was whether to approve an agreement with Parallel
Infrastructure (PI) to audit the Rail Line for Right of Ways (ROW) and to
identify encroachments. Passed
Operator John Williams announced that the company has survived 2 years of rail
service. He said the Federal Rail Authority had removed the Emergency Order
from the rail also. So far there is 62
miles of service in Marin and Sonoma Counties. He passed out pictures of rail
and passenger cars delivering 500 passengers to Sears Point Raceway. He was
proud to point out that there have been no injuries on the rail line. He was
still hoping for TIGER grant funding to help completion of rail line to
Oh yeah, by the way, the NCRA is broke. That was pointed out repeatedly during the meeting. Hope this last meeting won't literally be the last!